From a conventional view, there is this human being and consciousness is somehow connected with it.
And logically, since it’s the consciousness experiencing we must experience ourselves as this consciousness. Whether we notice or not, we are consciousness.
The next logical step is that we can notice ourselves as this consciousness, and any and all content of experience as happening within and as this consciousness. And that’s awakening.
It’s really super simple. Almost banal. It certainly doesn’t have to be very esoteric. And yet, I realize it can seem a bit mysterious since that’s often how it has been presented in the past, and if we don’t have a direct experience or taste of it ourselves it can seem a bit abstract.
But in reality, it’s very simple. It’s already our experience, whether we notice it or not. And there are simple ways for us to have an immediate taste of it.
The essence of what the mystics and spiritual traditions have talked about is also true. It takes time to clarify this and make it our new conscious home. It takes time to get all the different parts of ourselves on board with it. It takes time to learn to live from it more consistently and in more and more situations in life.
And any and all of the different practices from different spiritual traditions can help us with this, whether it’s natural rest, training a more stable focus, prayer, heart-centered practices, inquiry, body-centered practices, a life of service, and so on.
This is the psychological perspective on awakening. We can still imagine there
The difference with the spiritual perspective is that here, we go a step further. We acknowledge all of this, but we may say that the world really is consciousness, and we may call it the divine, or God, or Spirit, or Brahman, or Big Mind.
And if you are like me, then you’ll find both of
- Awakening from a psychological perspective
- in immediate experience, we are and all is consciousness (whether we notice or not)
- logically, from a conventional view, we have to be consciousness, that’s what’s experiencing, that’s what we are
- so awakening is “just” this consciousness noticing itself, and noticing all experience as happening within and as itself
finding ourselves as that which our experience – the sensory fields of sensations, taste, smell, sound, thoughts – happens within and as.